Freitag, 12. Juli 2013


The Al-Quds Composition Award will be presented by the new Al-Quds University College of Music. In its second year the award will be celebrating the magic and uniqueness of Arabic story telling and poetry. 
Al Quds College of Music aims for excellence in musical education, allowing our young talented musicians to have access to a level of learning and professional advancement hitherto unavailable in Palestine. 

The winning submission will be honoured and performed during the Autumn Academy of Al-Quds University College of Music, Jerusalem, in October 2013. 
The Al Quds Composition Award was successfully introduced for the first time in 2012 with participants from all around the world. This year again the award aims to encourage the creation of high quality chamber music works, which include elements of Oriental and/or Western European music combined with human voice.

Out of the series „Music scores“ by Maria Tupay Duque

 The music should be inspired by and reflect on the poem 

QAIS, MAJNOUN LAILA / قيس ، مجنون ليلى 

by the Palestinian writer and poet Mahmoud Abu Hashash. 
The composer can choose between an Arabic and an English version of the poem.

عتاب سريع
أي عينٍ كبتْ فيكَ في أرض ليلى،
وأية أرضٍ هوتْ تحت قلبك حتى تَدحرجَ في ألف وادٍ وواد
قصائد تنبؤها الريحُ
أي جنٍ أصابك في أرض عبقر
حتى تراها
 نجوما وشمساً فتحرق نفسكْ
وسرب ظباء وماء فيسكن حبُك سهمَكْ
وتصرخ في الظبي ليلى،
فتبكي عليك الجبالُ، وتبكي معكً
أتذكر كم مرةً قلت يا قيس ليلى
وما شهدت ليلةً قمرك
أي آلهة قد أمدتك بالحب والشعر والدين والكفر
حتى سبقتَ دليل الطيور إلى حيث صرت فناءك
أنتِ التي أيقظتِ فيه الحبَ
قبل الشعر يا ليلى فجُنْ
ورآه في عين القصيدة كاملا في الصدِّ،
 - كنْ يا قيسُ شاهدة الرخام على ضريحي شاعرا حتى تصدَّ
الريح عن رمل العظام ودرْ
جسداً بلاه الوجدُ فوق الأرض، درْ في الدائرات فلكْ
- شتتني اللسانُ وضل بي جسدٌ هلكْ


What, oh what, flung you into this land of Laila
The land that cracked beneath your heart
Prophesies blown out by the wind,
Poems rolling over

What jinn possessed you
What led you into the Valley of the Muses
That you saw her as the stars and the sun
And burnt yourself up
You saw her as herd of deer
around the pond of water
But your hunt is never done
Love withholds your arrow

The mountains weep with you,
The mountains weep for you

Remember how you cried out a thousand times: Lailaaaaaaa,
Not once did she witness your moon, not one single night

What gods endowed you with such love,
All this poetry, this faith and faithlessness
Till you arrived and found yourself mirrored
in the Simorgh
witnessing the dissolution of your being?

Why, Laila, did you arouse love in him?
To let him go mad and remain in frenzy?
To see his verses perfected by longing?

Said you to him:
Oh, Qais, be the epitaph on the marble stone of my tomb
Be a poet and let your poems become a wall around my bones
protected from the winds of time

And let your anguished body wander lost on this earth
While your soul spins in the orbit with the planets

-,Consumed, I am, by my tongue,
and my body lies sapped out-
murmured Qais
                                                                                                                     Translated by Sukrita Paul Kumar

Mahmoud Abu Hashhash

Mahmoud Abu Hashhash is a Palestinian writer and a poet who lives and works in Ramallah. He was first published in “The Everlasting Guests of Fire” a poetry book published by the Palestinian House of Poetry (Ramallah, 1999) and presented for the first time with a group of young Palestinian poets. Abu Hashhash published his first poetry collection “Agony of the Glass” by the Palestinian House of Poetry (2001), and his second one “Istibaha” by The Arab Institute for Publishing (Beirut 2006). In the same year, his first novel “Hebr/ Ink” was released by Azmena Publishing House (Amman, 2007). A second edition of the novel was published in Algeria by Mim Publishing House (Algeria 2007), and a French translation of the novel with the title “Ramallah, mon amour” was published by Galaade Edition (Paris, 2007). A selection of his poems have been translated and published in different anthologise and magazines.  In 2002 he participated in the prestigious Iowa International Writing Program (Iowa, USA).
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash works as the director of the Culture and Arts Programme at the A. M. Qattan Foundation. He graduated from Birzeit University, and received his master's degree in Arts Criticism and Management from City University, London, in 2004.
Mahmoud edited, co-edited and contributed to several art books and catalogues about Palestinian Artists.  He also writes lyrics, articles and catalogue essays on art and visual culture in Palestine. Many of his poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in various languages.

محمود أبو هشهش

كاتب وشاعر يعيش في رام الله، ويعمل مديراً لبرنامج الثقافة والفنون في مؤسسة عبد المحسن القطان.
حصل على درجة الماجستير في النقد الفني والإدارة الفنية من جامعة سيتي بلندن( 2004)، وعلى بكالوريس في الأدب الإنجليزي من جامعة بيرزيت بفلسطين.
صدر له ديوان "استباحة" عن المؤسسة العربية للدراسات والنشر (2006) ورواية "حبر" عن دار أزمنة بعمان (2006) ثم عن دار ميم للنشر في الجزائر (2007) ، كما نشرت هذه الرواية مترجمة  بالفرنسية تحت عنوان "Ramallah, mon amour" عن دار جالاد للنشر بباريس (2007). أصدر ديوانه الأول "وجع الزجاج"  عن بيت الشعر الفلسطيني (2001)، وشارك في ديوان " ضيوف النار الدائمون" الصادر عن المؤسسة العربية للدراسات والنشر وبيت الشعر الفلسطيني (1999).
إضافة إلى الكتابة الأدبية، يمارس محمود أبو هشهش النقد الفني، وينشر مقالات حول الفنون والثقافة البصرية، كما ساهم في وحرر وشارك في تحرير مجموعة من الكتالوجات والكتب الفنية. وكتب عدداً من الأغنيات لفرق موسيقية فلسطينية شابة.
نشرت قصائده مترجمة في عدد الأنطولوجيات والمجلات. 
له مسرحية غير منشورة بعنوان "الضيف" (2011)، ويعمل حالياً على عمل روائي.

 Submission Details

Title of the new piece: QAIS, MAJNOUN LAILA / محمود أبو هشهش
Deadline of submission: September 3rd 2013
Composition prize: 1000 Euros
Maximum of instruments or voices involved: 3 (human voice is obligatory)

A panel of judges consisting of international composers and contemporary music experts will select the winning composition. The winning composer is expected to attend the rehearsals and award concert. The cost of travel and accommodation will be covered.

Please send the score digitally or by post to:
Petra R. Klose
Al-Quds University College of Music
c/o Künstler und Kulturprojekte
Marc Aurel Strasse 2a/6/8
1010 Vienna - Austria

The score must contain the composer's name, address, telephone number, e-mail and a brief biographical sketch.
The premiere performance of the winning composition will be presented in concerts in Jerusalem and Ramallah in October 2013.

For further information please contact:

Ms. Petra R. Klose
Tel: +43 664 2549593 or +972 54 4687640

Montag, 8. Juli 2013


Arrival Istanbul. Clouded and rainy. Trying to escape a never-ending Viennese winter I was somehow expecting warmth and sun.

What do I know about this country.  To be honest hardly anything.

The hotel has a whimsical beauty of its own. All in golden, furniture that seems to have already been there at its opening to accommodate travellers from Europe arriving in Istanbul, at that time Constantinople, with the Orient Express more than hundred years ago. I am welcomed by a parrot in an ornamented old cage. It’s called the Grand Hotel de Londres and situated just a few meters from the Pera Museum where an international symposium on culture and politics during the Ottoman Empire will be organized by the Don Juan Archiv Vienna.

I had booked the journey to attend this event before the breaking news on TV started to announce demonstrations, riots and violence in the centre of Istanbul. Several speakers of the symposium had cancelled their trip.

Arriving as a stranger on a day like this in Istanbul, looking down from the rooftop terrace of an old hotel at the Bosporus one is immediatly taken by this city in all its magnitude and majestic beauty.
The streets are alive but nevertheless everything seems calm. I use the first evening to visit the Hagia Sofia and stroll around. A touching point of continents, of cultures, of history.

Back at the hotel I try to watch the evening news on the internet. Everything works, but not the broadcast of news. A scary question comes to my mind. Could they be blocked? The streaming of international news deliberately hindered?

The symposium on the next morning opens with the presentation of a paper about descriptions of the Ottoman Empire in texts and images. It was common in that period  that Panorama pictures would show many different sites of a city on one image, even though they could not have possibly all been seen from one point of view in reality. It was a way of documentation and presentation of a place – often finalized at a later point when the painter who had travelled would be back in his home country in Europe.

Many papers focus on the representation of embassies either from the Ottoman Empire in Europe or the other way round. Music and drama played a more than important role in the reflection of cultural relations. Hearing about all the artistic creations that emerged in this way and how ambassadors would have travelled with whole orchestras to their posting in order to fulfil their diplomatic representational duties it gives you the feeling there is a lot we could learn for our foreign politics and foreign relations today. The role of culture, of making people discover, listen and wonder. Shouldn’t it be stronger, now more than ever?  Is there a chance of making us all more curious, more attentive, more understanding through offering certain shifts of focus?

In the evening all participants of the symposium are invited to a dinner in a restaurant called the “5th Floor” overlooking the Bosporus and a skyline of skyscrapers. The conversations inevitably circle around the political situation in Istanbul. More stories about oppressed freedom of speech, about the rights of artistic expression. At the same time this very meeting shows the attraction to this place and how it connects and inspires at this very moment so many different opinions, artists, researchers, diplomats and scientists born and living in Turkey as well as from all around the world discussing the history, presence and future of this unique city.   
Suddenly at 9 pm a noise arises around us. Everywhere people are clinking against their glasses in the restaurant but we realize the noise comes from everywhere, rising from the streets and high buildings where you can see lights going on and off as another sign of protest.

On the way back to the hotel we see people selling helmets and gas masks on the road. We pass Taksim Square. We hear horns, voices and applause. Is this the “sound of change”? A term that has so often been outworn and betrayed to an extent that it appears to many ears only to be an empty phrase. Maybe if it is not yet the “Sound of Change”, looking at the masses of people it urges us to somehow believe that it is the sound of hope.

We experience a certain tension but nevertheless the ambiance among all the protesters is not at all violent, on contrary. It appears more as a revolution of a strong will than of clenched hands. People of all ages, in jeans, in suits, in skirts. A broad picture of society.

Along the way we see men and women painting images on the house walls. “Tomorrow it will all be grey again” comments a colleague on my left. It is like this every evening. People paint images and statements on the walls of the pedestrian road leading to Taksim square and in the night they will be painted over again by the authority.  

The Grand Hotel de Londres awaits us with its golden blinking velvety interior. Up on the roof while drinking a glass of Turkish red wine I try to connect all the impressions, try to make a  picture of it, of this overwhelming city of today while watching hundreds of seagulls circling above the many lights of the Bosporus.  It’s like facing different negatives of one photograph, a snapshot of time, filtered through the eye of a stranger.
Numerous negatives of one moment, even if they might not fit together – like certain things would not fit on one panorama picture, in the end, they do.

P. R. Klose, Vienna, July 2013

Symposium homepage of the Don Juan Archiv: